A battle between yoga and Pilates has taken place over the last two decades. Clamoring for the attention of both men and women who love to exercise, both practices offer numerous health benefits. Joseph Pilates invented his form of exercise during the beginning of the twentieth century, while yoga was created over 5,000 years ago. Should you go for the tried and true, or the new?
Here are five rounds of the fitness battle of Pilates Vs Yoga that will help you to decide which form of exercise to pursue.
Round 1: Weight Loss
Weight loss remains one of the main reasons people turn to exercise (some motivated by health, others by appearance). Is yoga or Pilates better for weight loss? Both Pilates and yoga offer fat-burning exercise programs. But which is the most effective?
You need to burn more calories than you consume each day in order to lose weight. Interestingly, one pound of body fat equals about 3,500 calories. Therefore (as Livestrong explains), a person can lose about one pound per week if you burn at least 500 calories every day. So, your workout should come as close as possible to burning around 500 calories.
If you’re around 160 pounds, you’ll burn 270-460 calories per hour-long Pilates session (depending on whether you’re a beginner or expert). Meanwhile, you’ll burn 200-630 calories through an hour of yoga (depending on the style). Yoga, then, may be more likely to help you lose weight than Pilates. If you utilize yoga for weight loss, try to attend classes or get DVDs that revolve around fat-burning.
Round 2: Stress-Relief For Anxiety And Depression
Because you’re choosing from among these two types of exercises, you can factor in the
possibility of having a good form of stress-relief to help manage your anxiety and depression.
If this is what you’re after, yoga wins this round. Yoga for depression and panic attacks works by bringing balance to your nervous system, fostering happiness and calm into your life. When you practice this ancient art, you learn to experience a state of consciousness you’ve never experienced before. Moreover, the relaxing effects of yoga can also be enhanced through the use of crystals and stones such as garnet, amethyst, quartz, and others. To give you a good understanding of these crystals, start by reading about garnet meaning here.
Once you’ve mastered yoga positions for depression or panic, you may find that you’re less
likely to have an anxiety attack. You may also feel more positive about your life, your
relationships, and your overall outlook. This gives you the motivation you need to continue
For the most part, yoga positions for anxiety and depression are quite easy, making them perfect even for a beginner.
Round 3: Flexibility
Which is better for flexibility yoga or Pilates? Various studies have compared the flexibility improvements that come from yoga and. However, yoga flexibility studies are much more prevalent. Increased flexibility is seen through the decrease in space between two body parts during a stretch. Pilates almost requires flexibility for many of its exercises, while yoga exercises increase flexibility over time.
However, yoga often includes much more stretching movements both before and after a workout than Pilates. Round two is close to a tie, with yoga just gaining the upper hand.
Round 4: Management Of Certain Diseases
When you enter into a particular exercise form, you may consequently lower the onset of certain diseases. The key isn’t really to avoid diseases or provide a cure. Rather, it’s about managing these diseases. The more you practice certain exercises, the healthier your physical body becomes, thereby reducing the risk of diseases.
In this round, it’s safe to say that there’s a tie between Pilates and yoga. Pilates may be beneficial for those that suffer the following health problems:
- Back pain
- Joint injuries
On the other hand, yoga works for those with the following:
- Type-2 diabetes
- Multiple sclerosis
- Chronic Pain
- High blood pressure
Round 5: Circulation
Many healthy people do not tend to worry about their circulation, but even the healthiest people can reap the benefits of improved circulation – for example, better blood flow to the brain and extremities. In cold climates, you will likely find this round of the match pretty important.
Both Pilates and yoga help improve circulation. The deep breathing exercises increase lung capacity and, therefore, circulation. While Pilates improves circulation by breathing just as yoga does, the movements of Pilates do not seem to offer the same circulatory health benefits provided by yoga. The Better Health Channel states that the increase in blood flow from isometric motion (holding muscle tension in short spurts) can have great benefits to the cardiovascular, digestive, and nervous systems. Your joints can even improve in mobility despite the aging process. Yoga wins again.
Round 6: Injury Rehabilitation
If you’re suffered an injury and were recommended for rehabilitation, then this section is for you. This round tackles the benefits of Pilates and yoga when it comes to treating physical injuries.
In this round, it’s a tie between yoga and Pilates. The only difference lies on a matter of preference, based on the effect you wish to achieve, as you recover from your physical injury.
Pilates and yoga are recommended for those who have suffered from injuries, simply because they’re slower and controlled exercises. Pilates can help the best for recovery, while yoga can help prevent further injuries and ailments.
Round 7: Muscle Tone
Pilates revolves around the strengthening of your core muscles. This, in turn, strengthens muscles in your back and even around your hips. The benefits of Pilates are numerous, and the improvements in muscle tone dramatic.
However, the winner of this round actually depends on which body shape you prefer—the lean, toned muscles of a dancer, or the clearly defined muscles of a kickboxer. If you wish to look longer and leaner, then yoga is the answer. If your goal includes visibly toned muscles, then definitely take the Pilates route.
Round 8: Endurance
This round is for the athletes! Some people do not just view working out as a hobby, but also as a test of endurance. You may wish to jump higher, run faster, and push your body to enjoy a more youthful lifestyle. For example, waterskiing may not sound like an awful idea in your fifties or even sixties if your body has enough endurance to keep up with the high amount of activity.
This round ends up in a tie for one great reason: the concept of endurance applies to both mind and body. Yoga can act as a form of meditation, with its slow flowing movements and breathing techniques. When you feel a reduction of stress, you will naturally reduce levels of cortisol (the stress hormone) and have more energy. On the other hand, Pilates truly strengthens muscles, which is great as you age. Your spine and core muscles can continue to provide sturdy support for the rest of your body, helping you to push it to its physical limits.
Yoga has won this boxing match. However, consider your own goals when choosing a winner. For example, is muscle tone more important to you than circulation? If so, Pilates is your winner – not yoga. Think about your individual fitness goals, decide which health benefits are most important to you, and choose the form of exercise that best suits your body. If you are still having a hard time deciding, then do both!